Drug Safety

, Volume 28, Issue 9, pp 743–752 | Cite as

When Should Vaccination Be Contraindicated in Children?

Current Opinion


No child should be denied immunisation without serious consideration given to the consequences. In the past, many contraindications to vaccination were based on theoretical concerns. These concerns often assumed an immunoallergic mechanism for adverse reactions, whereas many such events are often due to other causes. Other contraindications were based on evidence of excess risk, but this risk was not always balanced against the higher risk of disease. Therefore, contraindications often varied between countries and over time.

In recent years, the widespread availability of less reactogenic vaccines and the common use of combined preparations have prompted a review of contraindications in many countries. Accumulated experience worldwide has allowed the list of conditions that contraindicate vaccination to be reduced. The international consensus now is that there are very few situations in which a child should not be immunised and the only true contraindication applicable to all vaccines is a history of anaphylaxis to a vaccine component or following a previous dose of the vaccine. Health professionals should feel confident in accepting national recommendations and, if in doubt, should refer children for an expert opinion, rather than deny a child protection against a serious infection.


Pertussis Local Reaction Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura Pertussis Vaccine Febrile Convulsion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this study. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this study.


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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Immunisation Department, Communicable Disease Surveillance CentreCentre for Infections, Health Protection AgencyLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of HealthImmunisation and Communicable Disease TeamLondonUK

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